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Ancient Empires: From Mesopotamia to the Rise of Islam [Hardcover]

Eric H. Cline , Mark W. Graham

Price: 66.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Jun 2011
Ancient Empires is a relatively brief yet comprehensive and even-handed overview of the ancient Near East, the Mediterranean and Europe, including the Greco-Roman world, Late Antiquity and the early Muslim period. Taking a focused and thematic approach, it aims to provoke a discussion of an explicit set of themes supplemented by the reading of ancient sources. By focusing on empires and imperialism as well as modes of response and resistance, it is relevant to current discussions about order, justice and freedom. The book concludes that some of the ancient world's most enduring ideas, value systems and institutions were formulated by peoples who were resisting the great empires. It analyzes the central, if problematic, connection between political and ideological power in both empire formation and resistance. The intricate interrelations among ideological, economic, military and political power are explored for every empire and resisting group.


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'… this is a stimulating essay, one that rewards a careful reader with new insights into a variety of issues. The maps are useful and readable; other illustrative material is always clearly integrated into the narrative and appropriately placed in the text … Ancient Empires should assist academic readers, in general not just specialists in the ancient world, in posing better questions in their own work. Better questions, like those raised in [this book], yield better research.' Thomas Burns, Ancient History Bulletin

Book Description

A thematic overview of the ancient Near East, the Mediterranean and Europe, including the Greco-Roman world, Late Antiquity, and the early Muslim period. By focusing on empires and imperialism as well as modes of response and resistance, it is relevant to current discussions about order, justice and freedom.

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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesopotamia to Islam 26 Jun 2013
By Gderf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Cline & Graham trace social as well as the military basis for development and maintenance of "empires." They distinguish between territorial empires and the current hegemonic type. They cite Ideology, Economics, Military, and Politics (IEMP) in their analysis. It's a good method of organizing information and relating one empire to another. They start with Narmer in Egypt about 3000BC and Lullugalazi and Sargon in Sumer about 2300BC, but cite the age of empire from about 800BC to 800AD, when superseded by what historians call the "medieval' era signaled by the rise of Islam. That era starts with the Assyrian empire followed by the Babylonian, Persian and the Hellenic successors to the short lived Macedonian empire. The centerpiece is the Roman empire, the only one originating in the West. There's an excellent short history starting under the Republic and continued after Augustus. They place due emphasis on each of the I E M and P throughout the long development and decline. Information on art and literature of each period is provided. Thought provoking discussion questions precede each chapter. Besides the empires themselves the book involves interesting history of what C&G call "resistors' like Israel, Britain and India as well as buffer states like Armenia.

This is an excellent well integrated short history of each empire. It contains insight into much more than the familiar military histories.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Theme-oriented text for students or general audience 7 Mar 2013
By Josh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A simple, clear read that is focused on exploring themes in the ancient world. Text contains original, hand-drawn drawings (done by students), in many cases from archaeological sites where no photos of reasonable quality exist. Highly recommended for anyone interested in understanding change and continuity as influenced by long- and short-term themes in the age of empires.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, but false marketing 6 Aug 2011
By Jackal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A decent book about ancient empires. However, the book is falsely marketed as a "thematic review". In fact it is a university textbook, which explains the very high price of the book. It is used in something called "Introduction to Humanities", which means that the book is not written for history students. This could make the book useful for a more general audience. When I bought the book at a high price, I had expected a lavishly illustrated book. Instead I get a book with poor quality black and white pictures. Customer satisfaction is all about what to expect. With a proper description on amazon this would have been a three star book. However, the false marketing and ridiculous price deserves one star. So all together two stars. Get something like The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine (Penguin History of Europe) instead (but not expect any better illustrations.)
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